After sitting dormant for 15 years, the former Collingwood Technical School site on Johnston Street Collingwood is preparing to throw open its doors as Melbourne’s newest creative and community space, Collingwood Yards.
Minister for Creative Industries Danny Pearson today welcomed the opening of the new creative hub which has transformed the historic school buildings into a bustling creative precinct that provides a home for creative organisations, businesses and artists and a range of spaces for creative and community events.
The site at 35 Johnston Street Collingwood has been a place of creativity and learning since 1871 when it opened as the School of Design and School of Art. In 1912 the Collingwood Technical School opened, and the site remained a space for learning, as both a secondary school and a TAFE, until 2005.
After Circus Oz moved into the site 10 years ago, a vision was needed to redevelop the remainder of the space into a fully integrated creative space.
Under a groundbreaking model, a new social enterprise organisation – Contemporary Arts Precincts – was created which now owns and operates the site, raising funding to ensure that Collingwood Yards can operate sustainably and provide secure leases and affordable rent for the tenant community.
Redevelopment on the site commenced in 2018. While the first tenants began moving to Collingwood Yards in 2020, the official opening was delayed due to the pandemic. Now the time has come to showcase the site’s transformation and return the public space to the community.
Collingwood Yards will celebrate its opening on Saturday 13 March with a site-wide day of festivities showcasing the talented tenants including open studios, exhibitions, art installations and workshops, an art and design market and live music curated by The Push, Barpirdhila Foundation, Play On and Collingwood Neighbourhood House.
Find out more about Collingwood Yards and see the full open day program at collingwoodyards.org/openday.
As stated by Minister for Creative Industries Danny Pearson
“The establishment of Collingwood Yards was a long journey but it has created an incredible precinct which will strengthen our creative sector now – and leave a significant legacy for the future.”
“Congratulations to the Collingwood Yards team. The Victorian Government is proud to have helped shepherd this project, which sets a new benchmark for creative infrastructure – and for public and private partnerships.”
“It’s exciting that the time has come to open the precinct to the community. I hope people of all ages get the chance to visit, learn about the tenants and experience this project that embodies Victoria’s reputation as the creative state.”